Stargazing Live breaks World Record

ABC event goes into the Guinness World Records after 40,000 people scan the night sky.

ABC Stargazing Live fans have broken a world record for the most people stargazing across multiple venues at the same time.

ABC in partnership with the Australian National University broke the previous 2015 Guinness World Record of 7960 people observing across 37 locations, with over 40,000* people across Australia simultaneously observing the moon through a telescope for 10 minutes last night. There were more than 285 “Star Parties” hosted by community groups and organisations in every state and territory.

Audiences also discovered at least one new supernova (an exploding star), after identifying a flash of light emitted from a galaxy, 1.1 billion light years away.

Professor Brian Cox said, “It’s great to break the world record for the number of people stargazing simultaneously, but I think this is only half the story. The real value is that many thousands of Australians have been introduced to the wonders of the night sky, and many of those will be children. They will develop a lifelong interest in astronomy and science, and the impact of that will be felt in decades to come. Perhaps the first Australian to walk on Mars will have been inspired by this spectacular night.”

ABC Director of Entertainment & Specialist David Anderson said, “Stargazing Live made science accessible and entertaining for Australians of all ages, across multiple platforms and services.

“Stargazing Live exemplifies the ABC’s unrivalled commitment to high-quality and distinctive Australian content that always aspires to inform, to educate and to entertain, and no one but the ABC delivers such indispensable content and services to the Australian community,” he said.

“Through our world record attempt, we brought communities together in different locations across the country and inspired them to look to the moon and the stars beyond.”

The Guinness World Records title for Most people stargazing across multiple locations was claimed by participants at more than 285 “Star Parties” hosted by community groups and organisations in every state and territory, from remote outback locations to metropolitan centres, including:

• Large public events in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra
• 14 universities across more than 20 campuses
• More than 100 primary and high schools
• Eight observatories
• 43 Girl Guide units and 35 Scout groups
• A special event at Parliament House in Canberra
• Remote locations including Birdsville, Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha, Kalgoorlie, Uluru, Alice Springs, Charleville, and Broken Hill

The ABC rallied over 1000 employees and community volunteers at Star Parties across the country, to assist participants in the world record bid.

All registered participants will receive a certificate from Guinness World Records to recognise their participation.

* exact number still being counted.

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